ARCHIVED -  Telecom Costs Order CRTC 99-8

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Telecom Costs Order

Ottawa, 6 October 1999

Telecom Costs Order CRTC 99-8

In re: Service to High-Cost Serving Areas - Telecom Public Notice CRTC 97-42

File No.: 8665-C12-04/97

Application for costs by the Utilities Consumers' Group (UCG).

1.The Commission received an application from UCG dated 13 February 1999, for costs associated with its participation in the above-noted proceeding. Northwestel Inc. (Northwestel) filed its answer to the application on 12 March 1999.

Positions of the Parties

2.UCG submitted that it had met the criteria for costs set out in subsection 44(1) of the CRTC Telecommunications Rules of Procedure (the Rules), in that it:

(a)represents a group of ratepayers (residential and small business) in the Yukon Territory with a substantial interest in the outcome of this proceeding;

(b)filed competent submissions, interrogatories and responses;

(c)participated fully and responsibly in all areas of the proceeding;

(d)sent delegations to the regional hearing in Whitehorse and the national hearing in Hull; and

(e)contributed to a better understanding of the issues and offered legitimate argument in the proceeding.

3.In its answer, Northwestel submitted that it had no comments on the application for costs and the amount claimed by UCG. However, Northwestel submitted that costs awarded should be apportioned among those parties who participated actively in the proceeding and who have a significant interest in its outcome.

Commission Determination

4.In the Commission's view, UCG has met the three requirements of subsection 44(1) of the Rules. Accordingly, an award of costs is warranted in the circumstances.

5.UCG has claimed a total of $7,518.15, consisting of $5,210.00 in fees and $2,308.15 in disbursements. With respect to fees, the full amount was claimed for services rendered by Mr. Rondeau, President of UCG, consisting of 50 hours to review the file at an hourly rate of $25.00; 60 hours of preparation at an hourly rate of $45.00 to prepare and respond to interrogatories and comments; and 28 hours at an hourly rate of $45.00 for attendance at the regional hearing and final arguments in Hull.

6.The Commission considers that the costs claimed were necessarily and reasonably incurred by UCG in the circumstances of this proceeding.

7.In light of the relatively modest amount of costs claimed and the lack of objection on the respondent's part, the Commission considers that this is an appropriate case in which to dispense with taxation and fix the costs in accordance with the streamlined procedure set out in New Procedure for Telecom Costs Awards, Telecom Public Notice CRTC 98-11, 15 May 1998.

Direction as to Costs

8.The application by UCG for an award of costs in respect of the above-mentioned proceeding is approved. Pursuant to subsection 56(1) of the Telecommunications Act, the Commission fixes the amount payable in the amount of $7,518.15.

9.The Commission notes that UCG's submissions related primarily to matters of concern in Northwestel's territory. In the circumstances of this case, the Commission considers that the costs of UCG's intervention should be paid by Northwestel. Accordingly, costs awarded herein shall be payable forthwith to UCG by Northwestel.

Secretary General

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